Showing posts with label the Wall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the Wall. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Campus BDS Heating Up This Spring!

By Anna Baltzer, National Organizer

This spring, the weather is not all that's heating up! April has brought a burst of U.S. campus boycott and divestment (BDS) initiatives following inspiring actions around the country on the BDS Day of Action, held on the annual Palestinian Land Day. Active campaigns in California, Arizona, Indiana and beyond are becoming a force to be reckoned with.

We are thrilled to welcome and support many of these campus groups as new members of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation!

Here are some of the exciting ongoing initiatives:

 At the University of California at San Diego, the UCSD Associated Students are voting tomorrow night on a resolution to divest fromNorthrop-Grumman and General Electric because they profit from violent conflict, including in Israel/Palestine. Click here to read the resolution and send endorsements to

Above: Students' wall on the UA campus. Click to enlarge.

 No Mas Muertes at theUniversity of Arizona (UA) recently issued this call for campus boycott and divestment from national targets Caterpillar andMotorola, due to their involvement in racist policies against Latina/o migrant communities and indigenous peoples in Arizona, Palestine and around the world.

 The statement coincided with the launch of a national "Mock Wall" Movement protesting U.S. support for Israeli occupation and discriminatory U.S. immigration policies, with students at six universities around the country constructing walls on their campuses to raise awareness about the destruction wrought by the walls in Palestine and on the U.S. border.

 At Earlham College in Indiana, students launched this BDS resolution to divest their campus from CaterpillarMotorola and Hewlett-Packard, which profit from Israeli occupation and violations of Palestinian rights. The students put together this terrific video

Northrop-Grumman, Caterpillar and Motorola are also three of the five companies targeted in a national campaign initiated by Jewish Voice for Peace (a member of the US Campaign) to compel financial giant TIAA-CREF to divest from Israeli occupation.

Campuses are fertile ground for this growing campaign. Check out the comprehensive new campaign 
web site and resources here!

Don’t forget to check our 
"BDS on Campus" resources here, including ahandbook by veteran activists to guide students through campus divestment campaigns.

Whether your group is on a campus or not, we invite you to 
join our coalition too, by clicking here. We are more excited than ever to support diverse groups working around the country for corporate accountability and an end to U.S. supportfor Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Students Nationwide Launch "Mock Wall" Movement

Groups at Several U.S. Universities Coordinate Efforts of Mock Walls Targeting U.S. Policies of Support for Israel and of Immigration and Border Enforcement

Students at the UA made history last month when they erected the largest (1200-ft) mock apartheid wall in the U.S. to divide their more than 50,000-person campus in protest of American policies of support for Israel’s 44-year military occupation and settlement of Palestinian ancestral lands and of U.S. Immigration and border enforcement. Students also released their statement advocating divestment from UA-partnered corporations enabling such policies. The Associated Press first picked up the story of their mock wall on Mar. 19. Archbishop Tutu heard about the students’ wall and divestment initiative and offered his support, at the invitation of the students.

The student statement was dated Mar. 28 by the student group, No Más Muertes (UA NMM), and marks the first public U.S.-university based call for divestment or boycott from corporations supporting racist policies and practices against Latina/o migrant communities and indigenous peoples in AZ and nationwide. Their divestment call is modeled from the current global movement of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Tutu’s letter intentionally dated on Land Day (Mar. 30), also known as international BDS day, commemorating the day in 1976 when Israeli forces shot and killed six young Palestinian citizens of Israel protesting continuing illegal military occupation and settlement of Palestine.

In his letter Tutu expressed admiration for the students who erected the mock wall at the UA, and remarked the effort reminded him of student activists who erected mock shanty towns throughout American campuses in the 1980s to protest the brutal conditions of the South African apartheid regime while using the tactic to demonstrate student support of divestment from companies profiting from Apartheid. “It is my hope,” Tutu wrote, “that the creative action by the students will inspire a new movement of mock walls dividing campuses across the U.S….”

Students, however, are already way ahead of him. Following the UA’s “Concrete Connections” wall last month, similar mock walls are being erected across the country at institutions as diverse as Brown University, the University of New Mexico (UNM), The Evergreen State College (TESC), UMass Amherst, and others. Many of the organizers have been coordinating cross-country over the past year to launch their walls.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mohammad Khatib, yet another leader of nonviolent struggle against Wall in Bil'in, arrested by Israeli military

Yet another high profile Palestinian leader of nonviolent resistance to the Apartheid Wall has been arrested by the Israeli military. Mohammad Khatib, a leader of the struggle against the Wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in and a coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, was taken from his house in a pre-dawn raid. You can demand his release, as well as the release of Abdallah Abu Rahmah and other anti-apartheid prisoners, by clicking here. Additionally, Palestinian anti-Wall activists and grassroots leaders continue to call for solidarity in the form of campaigns of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). Find out how you can get involved in BDS in your community by clicking here. Here's an update about Mohammad Khatib's arrest from the Popular Struggle website:

Mohammed Khatib during a speaking his speaking tour in Canada last year. Pictures Credit: Tadamon!

At a quarter to two AM tonight, Mohammed Khatib, his wife Lamia and their four young children were woken up by Israeli soldiers storming their home, which was surrounded by a large military force. Once inside the house, the soldiers arrested Khatib, conducted a quick search and left the house.

Roughly half an hour after leaving the house, five military jeeps surrounded the house again, and six soldiers forced their way into the house again, where Khatib's children sat in terror, and conducted another, very thorough search of the premises, without showing a search warrant. During the search, Khatib's phone and many documents were seized, including papers from Bil'in's legal procedures in the Israel High Court.

Israeli Soldiers violently preventing an international solidarity worker from entering Khatib's home tonight. Picture Credit: Hamde Abu Rahmah

The soldiers exited an hour and a half later, leaving a note saying that documents suspected as "incitement materials" were seized. International activists who tried to enter the house to be with the family during the search were aggressively denied entry.

Mohammed Khatib was previously arrested during the ongoing wave of arrests and repression on Augst 3rd, 2009 with charges of incitement and stone throwing. After two weeks of detention, a military judge ruled that evidence against him was falsified and ordered his release, after it was proven that Khatib was abroad at the time the army alleged he was photographed throwing stones during a demonstration.

Khatib's arrest today is the most severe escalation in a recent wave of repression again the Palestinian popular struggle and its leadership. Khatib is the 35th resident of Bil'in to be arrested on suspicions related to anti-Wall protest since June 23rd, 2009.

The recent wave of arrests is largely an assault on the members of the Popular Committees - the leadership of the popular struggle - who are then charged with incitement when arrested. The charge of incitement, defined under Israeli military law as "an attempt, whether verbally or otherwise, to influence public opinion in the Area in a way that may disturb the public peace or public order," is a cynical attempt to punish grassroots organizing with a hefty charge and lengthy imprisonments. Such indictments are part of the army's strategy of using legal persecution as a means to quash the popular movement.

Similar raids have also been conducted in the village of alMaasara, south of Bethlehem, and in the village of Ni'ilin - where 110 residents have been arrested over the last year and half, as well as in the cities of Nablus, Ramallah and East Jerusalem.

Among those arrested in the recent campaign are three members of the Ni'ilin Popular Committee, Sa'id Yakin of the Palestinian National Committee Against the Wall, and five members of the Bil'in Popular Committee - all suspected of incitement.

Prominent grassroots activists Jamal Jum'a (East Jerusalem) and Mohammed Othman (Jayyous) of the Stop the Wall NGO, involved in anti-Wall and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigning, have recently been released from detention after being incarcerated for long periods based on secret evidence and with no charges brought against them.

Background links: [1] LA Times: Palestinians who see nonviolence as their weapon [2] Ynet: 2010 will see us beat the occupation

Monday, January 4, 2010

Apparently, Bono's never heard of Jamal Juma'

To be honest, I'm not sure why Bono gets an op-ed column in the New York Times. Regardless, the Times on January 2 carried an op-ed in which the U-2 lead singer and founder of the ONE campaign wrote about 10 things he would like to see happen, globally, over the next 1o years. His New Year's wish list includes medical developments, increased access to rotavirus drugs to combat HIV/AIDS, sexier American cars...and nonviolent revolution. After quoting President Obama's Nobel Prize speech, mentioning celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and commending "the brave Iranians who continue to take to the streets despite the certainty of brutal repression," Bono ends with this:
"I’ll place my hopes on the possibility — however remote at the moment — that the regimes in North Korea, Myanmar and elsewhere are taking note of the trouble an aroused citizenry can give to tyrants, and that people in places filled with rage and despair, places like the Palestinian territories, will in the days ahead find among them their Gandhi, their King, their Aung San Suu Kyi."
Apparently Bono has never heard of Jamal Juma'. In fact, Palestinians have already found among them many who are willing to take up the banner of nonviolent resistance against Israeli occupation and apartheid. They have found many international and Israeli partners willing to stand alongside them in this effort. The Israeli military has found these individuals, too--and is throwing them in jail, often without charge. But you wouldn't know it from media coverage of Israel/Palestine, nor from President Obama's speeches in Cairo and Oslo. Why hasn't Bono heard the names of Jamal Juma', Mohammad Othman, Abdallah Abu Rahmah, and other Palestinians who have been jailed for their resistance to modern apartheid, their efforts to stop the Wall being built on their land, their promotion of nonviolent tactics of boycott and divestment? Is he simply unaware of the campaigns of nonviolent resistance being waged in Palestinian villages such as Bil'in and Jayyous? Does he not know about the weekly protest being held against the evictions of Palestinians and the confiscation of their houses for Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem--protests that include the participation of Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals, including jailed U.S. citizen Ryan Olander? Certainly, he has not read Majida Abu Rahmah, writing of her imprisoned husband and the struggle of her village, Bil'in, against the Wall and settlements that have cut them off from most of their land:
"Twelve hours after Abdallah was taken to a military jail from our home, I listened as President Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize and spoke of "the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice." I thought of Bassem, Adeeb and my husband, and wondered if President Obama will take action to support our struggle for freedom."
I wonder what Bono would think if he watched this segment from The Real News Network, which portrays not only the repression of Israeli and Palestinian grassroots activists but reveals the apartheid distinctions with which Israeli prisoners and Palestinian prisoners are treated: Let's ask him. Find out more about Israel's anti-apartheid prisoners here. Read the New York Times' letter to the editor guidelines here. And get tips on writing letters to the editor here. Bono is hoping for a decade of nonviolent resistance to oppression. We're not just hoping. We know it's happening--and we are going to continue to look for ways to support it, whether the New York Times considers it worthy of coverage, or not. (Update: A representative of Adalah-NY, one of our 325 member groups, has brought to our attention that Bono has, in the past, canceled gigs in Israel after pressure from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). This is from an April 2009 PACBI open letter:
"The injustice and the violent suppression of the Palestinian struggle for freedom has lasted too long. To bring an end to this oppression, Palestinian civil society has called on people of conscience throughout the world to take a stand and support our struggle for freedom by adopting boycott, divestments and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it fully complies with international law and recognizes our inalienable rights. This BDS call has received resounding international support, and has been endorsed by a number of prominent international cultural figures and Israeli artists, including Aharon Shabtai, John Berger, Ken Loach, Arundhati Roy, Roger Waters, John Williams and others. Other high profile artists have also heeded our call by canceling gigs in Israel; these included Bono, Bjork, Snoop Dogg and Jean Luc Goddard."
A recent article in YNet, however, reports that U2 is planning a show in Israel this summer, along with other high profile artists such as Santana, Beyoncé, , and Elton John. So how aware is Bono of nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation, including BDS? And if he is more aware than I thought...why is he ignoring it in the NYT and planning a show in Israel?)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Before the Wall I could see the sun" -- Free Israel's Anti-Apartheid Prisoners

A report from the Alternative Information Center in Jerusalem, entitled "Israel's Anti-Apartheid Prisoners": Free the prisoners. Stand up against apartheid. Intensify campaigns of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israeli occupation and apartheid.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Take Action: End the Siege, Stop the Wall

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is calling for two weeks of action in November, to end the siege of Gaza and bring down the Apartheid Wall. On November 2-8, take action to end the siege of Gaza. This week is the one year mark of Israel's breaking of the cease-fire in Gaza prior to its all-out assault in Dec. 2008/Jan. 2009. These actions will set the stage for December's Gaza Freedom March. Take media action, organize an event or action, meet with your Member of Congress, and find out more about the Gaza Freedom March. A plethora of resources for action are available here. Then, join human rights advocates around the world as we mark the 7th annual week of action against Israel's Apartheid Wall on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Check out action ideas, talking points, resources for media action, and information on the village of Bil'in and its struggle against the Apartheid Wall by clicking here. Join together with groups across the United States and around the world--take action in November to end the siege, end apartheid, and end the occupation!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Save the Dates for Action in November

The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation wants you to start thinking about actions for the first two weeks of November. The first week of November, we are encouraging supporters and member groups to hold teach-in, rallies, media action days, and other actions to hold U.S. lawmakers and tax payers responsible for complicity in the ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip. This week of action is being organized in conjunction with the organizers of the Gaza Freedom March, which is endorsed by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. We encourage you to sign up for the Gaza Freedom March today! The second week of November, we are promoting the international Week Against the Apartheid Wall called for by the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign. We encourage you to plan events and actions drawing attention to the situation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the effect that the apartheid wall has had on Palestinian rights to land, movement, and access. Start thinking of ideas for actions now, and keep an eye on this blog and the US Campaign website for details and resources.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Free Mohammad Othman: BDS movement has its first prisoner of conscience

The following is from the Stop the Wall campaign: Free Mohammad Othman Now! Latest News, Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, September 24th, 2009 On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested by soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He is now being held in Huwara prison as a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work.
Mohammad, 33 years old, has dedicated the last ten years of his life to the defense of Palestinian human rights. He has campaigned with the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign against the dispossession of Palestinian farmers and against the involvement of Israeli and international business in the violations of Palestinian human rights. His village, Jayyous, has been devastated by the Apartheid Wall and Zufim - a settlement, built by Lev Leviev's companies. These companies are facing a successful boycott campaign because of their violations of Palestinian rights. Mohammad was returning from one of his trip to Norway, during which he met with senior officials, including Norwegian Finance Minister Kristen Halvorsen. Norway’s national Pension Fund recently announced that it had divested from Elbit, the Israeli company which provides both Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and other military technology for Occupation forces, as well as security systems for the Wall and settlements. This is not the first time Palestinian human rights defenders have been arrested after trips abroad. Recently, Muhammad Srour, an eye witness at the UN Fact Finding Mission on Gaza, was arrested on his way back from Geneva. This arrest was a clear act of reprisal against Srour for speaking out about Israel’s violations of international law. Arresting Palestinians as they return from travel is yet another Israeli tactic to try to silence Palestinian human rights defenders. It complements the overall policy of isolation of the Palestinian people behind checkpoints, walls and razor wire. Click here to find out how to take action! To stay updated on Omar's case, visit the Free Mohammad Othman blog. For U.S.-specific action, see this website that has been set up by US Campaign member group Grassroots International.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Roger Waters knows a thing or two about walls

Check out "Walled Horizons," a new video documentary on the Apartheid Wall produced by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OCHA-oPt), featuring former Pink Floyd bass player and song writer Roger Waters--who's written one or two little ditties about walls in the past that you may be familiar with. Additionally, the film features Palestinians affected by the the Wall and three Israeli senior security officials, two of whom were directly responsible for planning its route and explain the Israeli position on constructing the Wall. Part I: Part II: Opposing the construction of the Apartheid Wall and calling for it to be dismantled has been one aspect of the US Campaign's work since our 2nd Annual National Organizers' Conference. U.S. political, economic, and corporate support of the Israeli occupation translates into support for the Wall and for other aspects of Israeli apartheid. Click here to view our Stop the Wall resources; click here to get involved with holding some of the corporations who profit from the Wall accountable for their actions; click here to learn how to work to cut off U.S. military aid for Israel's occupation. And, just in case you have no idea what Roger Waters has to do with walls: Walls block peace and impose apartheid. Working for human rights and justice means that we are in the business of bringing walls down.